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Dick’s one-man show

"Wow. Simply wow."

 

 

Nothing could be more irritating than watching Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon grandstanding in his own show, delivering those almost hour-long monotonous opening remarks, outdoing an interrogator and eventually monopolizing his own hearing.

However, Gordon just outdid himself in his his hearing in aid for legislation over the alleged abuses of the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law (Take note of the two major points: in aid of legislation and the subject on the GCTA)—by reaching a conclusion before he could even terminate his own investigation. 

As have been stated earlier, the original intention of his Senate inquiry was to curb alleged abuses of the application of the GCTA Law which have resulted in benefitting those convicted of heinous crimes. They were supposed to be excluded from the coverage of the law.

In the initial stage of the hearing, it seemed former Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon would be pinned down on the GCTA mess, having signed the release of several high-profile inmates found guilty of heinous crimes. These included former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez.

However, observers of the hearing claim that Gordon effectively steered the hearing to divert the attention away from Faeldon. While initially training his guns on jailed Senator Leila de Lima under whose watch the GCTA Law was implemented (but of course her implementation of the law should also be probed), Gordom has successfully caused the shift of his investigation from GCTA to the issue of ninja cops over allegations of drug-recycling.

Again, this is another welcome development as the investigation has now made the public aware of how corrupt policemen recycle the drugs they confiscate in raids to sell on the streets. No wonder the drug trade just won’t stop.

But then, Gordon apparently got overwhelmed by his successful steering of his hearing that he got so excited and came up with the perfect excuse to take away all the heat from the GCTA mess. Thus we now have the ninja cop issue, paired with a perfect fall guy, someones who’ supposedly responsible for the ninja cops – Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.

Even after just one hearing on the ninja cop issue, Gordon already came up with the conclusion that Albayalde was sort of guilty in intervening in the investigation of the alleged ninja cops, possibly blocking their dismissal from service. He even called for the PNP chief’s resignation.

Surprisingly, Gordon’s conclusion was based on the testimony of former PNP Region 3 director and now PDEA chief Aaron Aquino, who recanted his own testimony only to insist on it again, and former No. 2 cop, now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Aquino first testified that Albayalde called him up when he was investigation the drug raid in Pampanga six years ago, wherein the raiding cops were accused of misdeclaring the amount of drugs confiscated and selling on the streets part of the drug seized. Albayalde supposedly asked to review their findings as he would want to know first what really transpired during the raid.

Magalong for his part, insisted that Albayalde had intervened to block the dismissal of cops involved in the illegal drug raid. 

As it suited his desired result, Gordon accepted hook, line and sinker the testimonies of both Aquino and Magalong. In fact, he even came up with the statement it was impossible for Albayalde to not have known the circumstances of the big-time drug sting.

“After the operation report, obviously there will be a lot who will evade the probe. He did not meddle with it and instead worked on how to spare his men, who should not be spared because they [are] obviously… incompetent. Then they were promoted. All of it are indicative that they are being protected. If they are not being protected, would they spill the beans?” Gordon was quoted as saying.

Well, the senator is not known for his objectivity during hearings. But he could have asked Magalong and Aquino some key questions.

First, Aquino is ahead of Albayalde, being a member of PMA Class 85 to the latter’s Class 86. So, the question: can his someone his junior influence a member of his upper class?

When Albayalde asked him if he (Aquino) could review first the result of the investigation, can he consider that as an intervention?

Now, for Magalong. He was head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group when the raid was conducted. It was his office which investigated the raid. 

In July 2015, he was promoted as chief of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, and in December 2016, he was promoted as second highest ranking cop as Deputy Chief of Operations.

Clearly, he was in the position to relieve those suspected in the agaw-bato scheme perpetrated by the alleged ninja cops in the 2013 Pampanga drug raid.

Magalong claims to be a diligent officer. But by failing to dismiss those allegedly involved in the agaw-bato or drug recycling scheme, he clearly displayed gross negligence.

He claims Albayalde influenced the investigation and the resulting recommendation? Wow! Simply wow! Albayalde’s highest rank that time could have been a Senior Superintendent or even just a Chief Inspector while his (Magalong’s) lowest rank then could have been a Chief Superintendent.

Again, how could a junior officer influence a senior officer?

And why only now? Why at a time when Albayalde is only a few days from retirement? Does this have something to do, as he claims, with the appointment of the next PNP chief?

Why did not Magalong expose it when he was still in the position and his rank still supersedes that of Albayalde?

Why did not Gordon ask all these basic questions? 

Why is Gordon soft on Magalong and why is he hard on Albayalde?

There is no doubt the public wants the operation of these ninja cops exposed, as well as their identities and have them penalized.

But Gordon has to be fair. He can grandstand all he wants in his hearing – that is his show anyway. But at the very least, he has to be fair.

Topics: Charlie Manalo , Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon , Good Conduct Time Allowance Law , Mayor Benjamin Magalong , PDEA chief Aaron Aquino , PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde
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